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CHINA – Beijing and Shanghai Authorities Stop Issuing M Visa Invitation Letters

, 22/09/2016

Government agencies in Beijing and Shanghai have stopped issuing M (business) visa invitation letters, and Chinese consulates abroad will instead accept invitation letters from Chinese companies in those cities in support of M visa applications.

This change is expected to reduce the time it takes to obtain an M visa in many cases, as Beijing and Shanghai companies no longer need to obtain a government letter of invitation. The Foreign Affairs Offices and Commercial Bureaus in both Beijing and Shanghai confirmed the new policy, which local authorities in other cities have not yet implemented.

Action Items

  • M visa applicants should check the exact invitation letter requirements with the relevant consulate before applying, as application rules can vary depending on the consulate, the nationality of the applicant and the Chinese destination city.